Hey y’all, today we’re going to talk about Magic Duels! Duels is an awesome, free-to-play way to get your Magic fix. You can build decks that are competitive enough for online play without spending any money. While they likely won’t take you to the top of the rankings, they’re good enough to keep earning coins and opening packs.
My current favorite deck is a take on B/R Control, which features a lot of the most exciting Mythic Rares I’ve opened and one of my favorite Uncommons in the game. But of course, the best feeling is untapping with Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, whose theme song is “All I Do is Win“, and a bunch of removal spells in hand.
The full deck looks like this:
For those who like to have the decklist in front of them as they read along, here it is on TappedOut.
You’ll notice that there are a lot of one and two-ofs, which is a function of how Magic Duels’s deck construction and booster pack systems work. You can have only one of each Mythic Rare in your deck, two of each Rare, and so on. This is largely so new players don’t feel overwhelmed by having to acquire or fight against four Gideon, Ally of Zendikars or Smuggler’s Copters (yup, still legal in Duels) right when they start playing. So the one-of Kalitas, Chandra, Liliana, and Ob Nixilis that I have in my deck are actually full playsets. I really like this aspect of Magic Duels, as it makes deck-building more interesting and games more exciting.
There are some commons that I would definitely play more of, like Read the Bones, but I don’t have access to them yet. I’ve opened all but nine packs of Magic Origins, and my last two copies of Read the Bones are hiding somewhere inside. So for now, I’m still playing a couple copies of Bitter Revelation, and I’m using my coins to buy and open Magic Origins packs, searching for those last Read the Bones…
The deck’s overall plan is pretty straightforward. We remove all of the opponent’s creatures, draw a bunch of cards, and then win with some sort of overwhelming finisher. This can be either a Planeswalker ultimate (Liliana’s army of zombies is my personal favorite), Kalitas turning our opponent’s creatures as we kill them, or good ol’ Nightfire Giant doing what he does best, standing there and mowing down both little creatures and the opponent’s life total. In a pinch, Ravaging Blaze can also be used as an unconventional finisher. I have Blazed for 10 to put an opponent away more than once.
(A quick aside on Nightfire Giant: I never see him in anyone else’s deck, and I don’t understand why. He is an awesome finisher, and he can even tackle a Gideon. I’ve been playing Nightfire Giant since Day One of Magic Duels, and I just can’t quit him.)
The deck is very good against the creature-based aggressive decks that people play in the lower and mid-ranks of Magic Duels, such as mono-red, mono-white, and Vampires. The deck preys upon 2/1s and Auras. It can also use sweepers, spot removal, and card advantage to tackle midrange decks.
On the flip side, it is really tough for this deck to beat creatureless control or burn decks. A lot of our deck is dedicated to removal, and if the opponent doesn’t play creatures, you’re going to have a lot of cards stranded in hand. Specifically, I am 0-X against the card Fevered Visions, as most of the decks that play Visions don’t play very many targets for our removal. So we’re playing directly into their game plan.
It’s also been tough to beat four-color Planeswalker decks and, to a lesser degree, some Sphinx’s Tutelage/Pia’s Revolution decks. Basically, anything that doesn’t need creatures to win gives us trouble.
Still, my overall win percentage with the deck is decently high. I’m currently about rank 20 (which is right in the middle of the pack), and I play this deck most of the time, unless I’m farming Quests.
On the subject of Quests and coins, one of the coolest, but also most vexing, parts of Magic Duels is hunting for upgrades. I already mentioned Read the Bones, but the other cards I’m trying to find in booster packs are:
Thanks to Quests, it’s relatively easy to get enough coins to buy a free booster pack within only a few games. So each time I log in, I usually get to see some new cards. Hopefully, I’ll see some more Read the Bones soon!